Kris's senior portraits

Kris is a pretty cool, laid back guy.
But he sure did work hard for his session!

I really enjoyed how Kris designed his senior portraits,
combining the two things that he's most passionate about: weight lifting and music.

Thanks, Kris, for choosing us to photograph your senior portraits.
We wish you a fantastic and exciting senior year!


Sikes children

It had been a couple years since we had the opportunity to photograph the Sikes children.
And I couldn't believe how much they'd grown.
It was fun to get together again and pretty much spend the entire time laughing.

What a beautiful family!
Thanks guys for sharing a slice of life with us.
We'll look forward to the next time.


The Critchfield girls

Having two daughters of my own,
it's always exciting when we get a chance to photograph a family of THREE girls!
John and Theresa and their girls were an absolute blast!
So full of energy and life, with a bit of attitude and priss all thrown in.

Thanks, guys, for coming by and sharing a slice of life with us.
You have an absolutely beautiful family!
It has truly been a pleasure to get to know you and we look forward to seeing you again!


Sad and happy

Does everything always happen at once?
Or maybe life moves so quickly that it just seems that way.

Two weeks ago I was in Washington DC photographing a wedding
when Gray called to tell me that she had lost her first tooth.
"Dad, I've been waiting for this moment for years and you're not even here to celebrate with me!"
I felt horrible. But then she said, "Oh well, I guess we'll just celebrate again, once you get back.
Two celebrations!"

Then last week we walked her up the steps and into the school,
down the hallway and into her kindergarten classroom.
Her first day of school, yet she walked into the classroom like she owned the place.
Obviously she wasn't nearly as nervous as I was.

And then yesterday, after a few months of mom and dad not making a big deal about it,
she casually asked if she should practice riding her bike without training wheels.
Boom! A few minutes of diligent work and she got it.

And then her first piano lesson...

What in the world is happening?

Tonight I sit at my computer looking through pictures from her first day of school
and it's left me sad and happy.
I'm sad that my little girl is growing up.
But I'm happy to see her blossom and stretch, learn and grow.

In the morning we'll wake up, get ready as quickly as possible,
eat breakfast, and then race out the door without a second thought.

But tonight, in this quiet place, with my girls asleep down the hall,
I'm giving it a second thought.

Not quite as enthusiastic as big sister.

You are special today!
This special occasion heirloom plate is available at the Paloma's Nest boutique at our studio.

Gray loves making cards for people.
But this time mommy made one for her.
She loved it!

Gray's excited that Sydney is in her class.

Sharing the card she made for her teacher.

One of the most poignant moments of the entire morning was when we got home
and Campbell went over and picked up Graycen's American Girl, Hadley.
She walked around the house for a few minutes mumbling something to Hadley
and then climbed up on the the sofa and started playing with her quietly.

Looks like she's getting ready to "teach class" to Rabbit and Hadley.
That's what her big sister does.

Seems like everyone's growing up.


Taylor's senior portraits

I loved photographing Taylor's senior portrait session.
She's a dynamic young lady, lots of fun,
and she really invested a lot of effort into designing the perfect session for her.

There's nothing quite like the early morning light. I love it!

Congratulations, Taylor!
Thanks so much for letting us be a part of your senior year.
We wish you many more successes!


loss and a loss for words

Sometimes the words just don't come, no matter how hard you try.
After three weeks of running non-stop, working every day from sunrise to sometime past midnight,
still feeling behind and trying to plot your next move,
news hits you square in the face and takes your breath away.

We've been blessed to work with some of the most extraordinary couples.
Daniel and Logan were no different.
I first met Daniel in 2006 when I taught photography at the School of Journalism & Communication
at Southern Adventist University.
Daniel always talked about snowboarding and wakeboarding
and all those other extreme sports that I'm not cool enough to do.
But every week he'd stay after class and we'd spend 15-20 minutes just talking about life,
school, business, and photography.
He was such a nice guy. So easy to talk to. An instant friend.
Shortly after our time together in class, doctors located a tumor on Daniel's brain.
But his determination and strength prevailed.
His beautiful and sweet lady Logan battled right along with him.

Sometime a year later or so, I bumped into Daniel and Logan on a flight from Orlando to Chattanooga.
It was an empty flight and I had two open seats next to me.
So the three of us sat together and I listened to the sweet story
of how they had just gotten engaged the night before.
Listen up guys, there aren't many who did it better than Daniel!

A couple months later they asked us to photograph their wedding in Asheville, NC.
Daniel was a handsome groom and Logan was one of the loveliest and most graceful brides I have ever seen.
A striking couple, even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.

When they married Daniel had a clean bill of health.
But his future was uncertain.
Over the next couple years they spent time living and working in Las Vegas and Utah,
enjoying the outdoors and living life to the fullest.
Daniel touched base from time to time via email and we enjoyed following their travels.

Some time ago Daniel's cancer came back, and this time with a vengeance.
Daniel and Logan were determined to beat it trying a host of natural treatments
coupled with every advancement of modern medicine available.
Daniel kept a blog journaling his experience.
He prayed for strength for his wife and family.
And he always held out hope that his public fight would increase awareness
and inspire others to join him in the fight against this terrible disease.

Yesterday Daniel was in the ICU.
And tonight we heard that he went to sleep.
What do you say?
What do you do?

Our prayers are with Logan, as well as Daniel's parents, brothers, and sister.
What a difficult time.
May God grant them peace and comfort and hope for tomorrow.
And may the love and prayers of friends and family bring them even just a moderate measure of comfort.


Positive momentum II: Paloma's Nest

I hinted in my previous post about the new Paloma's Nest boutique in our studio.
Well, here's a sneak peek at what's happening.
We still have a few more final touches to add, but it's getting close.
And as of this week, our Paloma's Nest boutique is officially open for business.
Shoppe hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.

A couple years ago Joy and I fell in love with the one-of-a-kind
handcrafted modern heirloom pieces from Paloma's Nest.
Since then we've purchased several of their pieces
and we've been fortunate to become friends with the artists, Caroline and Jose.

It's quite a thrill for us to be able to offer their product in our storefront.
And it's even more special that we are only their second retail boutique.
Their flagship location is at their studio in Austin, Texas.

We are super-excited about this addition and it's been great
witnessing all the positive attention it's receiving
from clients AND passersby on Main Street.

Of course Joy and I aren't the only ones excited.
Gray and Campbell are pretty excited too!

So come on over and look around. We'd love to see you!


Positive momentum

Joy and I are thrilled to introduce our new studio manager, Becky Sharp.
Becky started a couple weeks ago and we are
already wondering how we survived so long without her.

As studio manager, Becky will be assisting with scheduling,
client experience, and a host of other initiatives.

Additionally, you may have heard about our new expansion,
adding Paloma's Nest as a retail element of our studio.
More on that super-exciting bit of news later!
Becky will be leading out in our retail boutique as well.

We are excited to have her on board
and we're looking forward to kicking things up a notch
as we push toward the fast approaching holiday season.

Speaking of the holiday season,
we've already had several people contact us about holiday portraits.
Please give Becky a call at the studio (423.228.2860) to schedule your session.